An episode of "Make Room for Daddy". In this episode, Danny and his wife try to avoid yelling at their children. Originally broadcast 20 March 1956, this copy is complete with original commercials for Dodge cars and Pall Mall cigarettes. (note: I believe this show is public domain, but I might be wrong on that. It wasn't registered with the copyright office until the late-1980s, so I believe the registration is invalid, but I might be wrong on that).
August 22, 2014
Make Room For Daddy episode #36
This episode of Make Room For Daddy premiered on Tuesday March 20, 1956. It was the 26th episode of the third season, episode 86 out of the entire run of the show. This episode in particular deals with the parents’ decision to stop yelling at their children and at each other in order to have a more harmonious family dynamic and atmosphere in the house. However, the children become confused by their parents’ abnormally calm behavior, concluding that their parents must not love them anymore if they are not punishing them. This debacle is sorted out in the end, with the family returning back to their previous loud natures and punishment routine, by which the children are relieved.
This sitcom clearly falls under the family sitcom genre, running from September 29, 1953- September 4, 1964 with a total of 344 episodes and 11 seasons. The premise of the show revolved around Danny Thomas, a father of two kids and husband to housewife Margaret, who balances his busy work schedule with his duties as a father and husband. The show originally aired on Tuesday nights, then it moved to Mondays for almost the rest of its run. Each episode was about 25 minutes, with two commercial breaks. It was renamed The Danny Thomas Show after its third season. This was also the same time that Jean Hagen, who played the typical domestic housewife, decided to leave the show because of disagreements with the lead Danny Thomas.
The series was initially produced by Martero Enterprises and then produced by T&L Productions for its last two years. It originally aired on ABC until 1957, and then CBS until 1964. The show was filmed at Desilu Studios in Hollywood. It was originally sponsored by American Tobacco Company, General Motors and Post Cereals of General Foods. As is seen in this episode, which contains commercials for Dodge Cars and Pall Mall Cigarettes. Although the show had several directors at different times, this episode was directed by Sheldon Leonard, who also directed shows like Lassie, The Dick Van Dyke Show, and The Andy Griffith Show. This episode was written by Mac Benoff and produced by Louis F. Edelman.
This episode specifically highlights the superficiality of the idyllic sitcom image of middle-class suburbia and the unnatural expectations it placed on families. For example, the parents “practice” being kind to each other, which only dramatizes the idea that they are playing phony domestic roles. Their subsequent interactions with their children then appear completely unnatural and overly formal, which even the kids pick up on. Additionally, this episode falls under the sitcom genre clearly, as the parents illogically deal with the situation in a very indirect manner. Lastly, the resolution of episode perpetuates the image of the submissive housewife, as Danny blames the entire problem on his wife since it was her idea to stop yelling at the children.